It’s long been known that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams dropped out of the George Washington University in 1979 to intern in the Carter White House’s correspondence office sorting letters. But in the 7:30 half hour of Thursday’s Today we learned that 13 years earlier, in a 1966 letter to President Lyndon Johnson, he had proclaimed his commitment to the “Democret” party. Williams came aboard the Today show to plug a National Geographic book for which he wrote an introduction, Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office from the Files of the National Archives. As viewers saw Williams’ 1966 handwritten letter to Johnson, Lauer noted how the seven-year-old Williams “signed off the letter ‘one of your young Democrets,' not Democrats." Williams quipped: “You know, I was a young sycophant is what I was. And yeah, we've done Democrets. I think that's a chewing gum product. We've looked it up. It is no political party and for a registered independent it's now very embarrassing." Lauer razzed him: "Independart, you mean." Williams replied: "Oh, very funny." (Full text of the letter follows.)
MSNBC.com has posted a PDF of Williams’ introduction to the book, which features a child-age picture of him. He wrote that his “Democret” sign-off “would later become something of an embarrassment for a journalist who is an avowed and registered Independent.”
The full text of the November 25, 1966 hand-written letter from the seven-year-old Brian Williams of Elmira, New York:
“Dear Mr. President:
“I hope that the men in Vait Nam are doing well! Do they do this ever day? How are you felling? I hope your are felling good! I’am 7 and 1/2 years old!
“And I like you! I have not ben in the White house before but I will some time. I live in new york stat in Elmira! I want to visit you!
“One of you’r young Democrets Brian Williams
“927 W. Church St.
“Elmira, N.Y. 14905"